Yep, that's exactly what you think it is...

I'm stitching on bark! 

A few months ago, BSP and I were playing golf, and as I was pootling along in the golf cart, I happened to see a birch tree that had a chunk of bark dangling by a shred. 

I would never denude a tree of its bark (that can damage the tree, leave it open to disease and insect infestation - even kill it); but since it was presenting me with a piece of itself it had no more use for, I gratefully accepted it. 

It wasn't very much bark, but I thought that if I very carefully pulled it apart (birch bark, as you may know, is composed of multiple thin layers); I might have enough to make a background for a small piece. 

As it turns out, I have enough to make two, or possibly three small pieces!

This is the first, 8 x 10 inches. I think it will make a delightful background for a bird, don't you? 

Over the summer, I also collected quite a lot of bark from a Beauty Bush. The bush itself is a glorious flowering tree; but I was very interested in it because of the bark - which sloughs off by the pound.  

As soon as I saw this paper-like bark, I immediately thought of multiple mixed media uses - but also -  bird backgrounds!

In the meantime, I've got a lot of stitching to do - before I finish that though, I've got to catch you up on what I've been doing. 

Talk soon!


Kit Lang


  1. Interesting! How are you preserving it? Is it just air dried?

    1. Well, I figured that since there are documents and letters written on tree bark that are thousands of years old, my work would be safe. :)

      After you asked the question though, I googled, and I couldn't fine any professionals who work with bark (whether in art or furniture)that do anything to preserve the bark either. It lasts on trees, exposed to the elements for decades, sometimes hundreds of years, so I guess it's not something that we have to worry about.

      Finally - this bark is stitched down so well, there isn't a chance of anything flying off as it dries. ;)

  2. looks wonderful ~ I found some paperbark tree bark on the ground on a recent walk with our dogs ( same as you I wouldn't take it from a tree). I wanted to try hand stitching on it, BUT the dogs got to it and ripped it to bits.